By U.S. Air Force 2nd Lt. Natassia Cherne
Nuristan Provincial Reconstruction Team Public Affairs
NURISTAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan –Nuristan Provincial Reconstruction Team delivered materials to the village of Barge Matal to help the village rebuild and compensate for lost of property by anti-Afghan forces the night of Dec. 29.
The summer of 2009, AAF set in motion a series of attacks on the villagers of Barge Matal, coalition forces, and Afghan security forces.
Due to the attacks, many homes and the village sawmill, which was the only source of economic activity for the village was burned down.
U.S. Navy Lt j.g. Christopher Saunders, Nuristan PRT engineering officer, and native of Camarillo, Calif., facilitated purchasing of the parts for the sawmill.
“The sawmill was the heart of economic activity in Barge Matal,” Saunders said. “The destruction of the sawmill by AAF was a huge blow to the... community, and it became our top priority to get a new band saw to the village in order to get the lumber industry going again.”
The village micro hydro, which provided Barge Matal with electricity, was also damaged by the attacks. Fortunately, Nuristan PRT was able to deliver the necessary parts to get the micro hydro functioning again.
U.S. Navy Cmdr. Russell McCormack, the commander of the PRT and native of Hampstead, N.H., and a personal security detachment met with local villagers to discuss the items being delivered to their village.
The villagers gathered the items and thanked the commander for providing funds and equipment for the people of Barge Matal in order to reconstruct their community and lives.